Did you celebrate Easter growing up? Maybe lunch at Grandma’s or an egg hunt with your cousins? Cadbury Eggs anyone, those are SO good!
I am old enough to remember Easter baskets from the Easter Bunny filled with candy and toys…what kid wouldn’t love that?
I also had to get new Easter clothes every spring to wear to church.
My parents were old school and most years on Easter we were up before the sun to attend a sunrise service and then back to church later that morning for the regular Sunday service.
I get the sentiment, I really do. Somewhere around age 15 though I realized something. Jesus loved me just as much at 10:00AM as He did at 5:00AM on Easter morning.
With me not being a morning person, I am not sure I loved Him the same way at 5:00AM as I did at 10:00AM. Immature? Sure. Accurate? You bet!
Easter oddly enough was not a Christian holiday at first. Celebrations of the arrival of spring by worshipping the gods has been around a long time. Eggs and rabbits trace back to rituals for fertility and new life after the dark winter.
Christians flat out stole/co-opted the holiday and gave it new significance. As best we can tell the first references to Easter as a holy day tied to the resurrection of Jesus comes from a mid-second century sermon.
Oh yeah, the date changes every year. Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ birth is always December 25th, though no one knows His actual birthday. Easter can range anywhere from March 22 and April 25th!
The date moves because it is timed off the Jewish festival of Passover. Passover depends on the cycles of the moon. The official description is “Easter will be on the Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox”. Got that? (Personally I just google it every year)
That is the random stuff about Easter. Now for the important things.
1) Easter weighs a ton – The weight of Easter is hard to overemphasize. The holiday is nice, eating sweets, dressing up, gathering with family are all good things. These are not why Easter is of such importance.
Easter commemorates a creation defining event. The resurrection of Jesus has without question been the single biggest event in human history.
How big is it? The apostle Paul said without the resurrection all of Christianity is of no worth. Preaching is useless, faith is futile and followers of Jesus are to be greatly pitied if Jesus did not literally rise from the dead.
EVERYTHING hangs on Jesus physically rising from the dead.
While Jesus never told us to celebrate His birthday, He did tell us to remember and celebrate His death, burial, resurrection and expected return. We do that every time we take the Lord’s Supper.
How important is Easter? How much time to you have?
2) Easter is defiant – Easter happens every spring, no matter what has happened. I could have been a terrible winter for you or even for the world, but Easter comes anyway.
Economic depression comes, we still have Easter. Wars raging, we still have Easter. Tragedy strikes and lives are lost, we still have Easter. Marriages break up, kids go off the rails, jobs are lost, society wobbles, we still have Easter.
Easter is defiant because it reminds us of Christ’s victory over death, our forgiveness, and the hope we have! Hope for life today and hope for the future to come.
It is tempting for many reasons to believe we are living in hard days compared to what we remember. Maybe we are, but it doesn’t define the most important things.
These are the times for followers of Jesus to shine, be salty, and follow. We have incredible resources and incredible opportunities. Light shines brightest in the dark because Easter is true…and defiant.
3) Easter is a celebration – Just like Christians stole Easter, sometimes Christians allow joy be stolen away. We should not allow that to happen. We have too much hope to not celebrate often and loudly!
Do you know where celebration came from originally? It was God, God created celebration. Read the Old Testament, do you realize how much space is given to describing feasts, celebrations, gathering, and worshipping? The calendar for Israel was filled with WEEKS of celebration.
Do you know one of the main criticisms of Jesus was? He had too much fun. He went to parties, he was accused of eating too much and enjoying people too much!
Nobody should be better at celebrating than followers of Jesus. Jesus is our example and our reason for celebrating.
Kool and the Gang got it right when it comes to Easter. Let’s celebrate and have a good time.
There's a party goin' on right here A dedication to last throughout the years So bring your good times and your laughter too We gonna celebrate and party with you
Easter matters. Easter bring hope. Easter is a celebration. Join us this Easter at Mt Ridge. Bring someone with you.
You check out all the Easter options and some handy ways to invite your friends and family to celebrate with us. EASTER INFO
I can’t wait!
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